Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Professor Eleanor Nesbitt

Job Title
Recognised Teacher
Institute of Education
Research Interests

Eleanor Nesbitt has conducted research on the religious socialisation of young people in Christian, Hindu and Sikh families in the UK and on Quakers in Hindu and Sikh Studies. She has directed research on new religious movements and values education and on the religious identity formation of young people in mixed-faith families. Her recent research focuses on Sikhs in western women's art and writing from 1809 to the present.


Eleanor Nesbitt is Professor Emeritus. She is a specialist in Sikh Studies. In 2021 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of California Riverside for her contribution to Sikh and Punjab Studies. She co-founded the Punjab Research Group and the Journal of Punjab Studies (now Journal of Sikh and Punjab Studies). She is co-editor of Brill's Encyclopedia of Sikhism. She speaks, mainly on Sikh Studies, at international conferences and in the media. She is a member of the editorial boards of Religions of South Asia and Fieldwork in Religions. Previously Eleanor was also a specialist in the religious socialisation of young people of Christian, Hindu and Sikh background, and in qualitative research methods. She was Principal Investigator for the following research projects: Formal Hindu Nurture, (funded by the University of Warwick) Hindu Nurture in Coventry, (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) Punjabi Hindu Nurture, (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) Ethnography and Religious Education (Christian and Sikh nurture), (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council) A Longitudinal Study of Young British Hindus' Perceptions of their Religious Tradition, (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) She co-directed three projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board: Fostering Spirituality in Late Modernity: Brahma Kumaris in the UK Assessing the Approach of Sathya Sai Baba's Followers to Young People's Spiritual and Moral Development and Investigating the Religious Identity Formation of Young People in Mixed Faith Families. Another research project was Interrogating the experience of Quaker scholars in Hindu and Sikhs studies: spiritual journeying and academic engagement.

  • Nesbitt, Eleanor, 2009. The teacher of religion as ethnographer. In Clarke, Peter B. (ed.), The Oxford handbook of the sociology of religion, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 965-985
  • Nesbitt, Eleanor, 2008. South Asian christians in the UK. In Jacobsen, Knut A.; Ray, Selva J. (eds.), South Asian Christian diaspora : invisible diaspora in Europe and North America, Aldershot, Ashgate, pp. 17-38
  • Nesbitt, Eleanor, 2008. Religious nurture. In Cush, Denise; Robinson, Catherine A.; York, Michael (eds.), Encyclopedia of Hinduism, London, Routledge, pp. 677-679
  • Jackson, Robert, Nesbitt, Eleanor, 1993. Hindu children in Britain. Stoke-on-Trent, Trentham
  • Jackson, Robert, Nesbitt, Eleanor, 1990. Listening to Hindus. London, UK, Unwin Hyman
Title Funder Award start Award end
The Role of Religion in Families during Times of Austerity - BA/Leverhulme Small Grant British Academy 01 May 2014 30 Sep 2016
Investigating the Religious Identity Formation of Younge People in Mixed Faith Familities AHRC 01 Jun 2006 30 Sep 2009
Investigating the Religious Identity Formation of Young People in Mixed Faith Families AHRC 01 Mar 2006 28 Feb 2009
Assessing the approach of Sathya Sai Babas Followers to Young Peoples Spiritual and Moral Development AHRC 03 Dec 2003 31 Jul 2004